The Standby Guardianship Project came into existence in order to combat the significant level of fear and vulnerability being experienced and reported by immigrant parents. Our members are committed to helping immigrant parents use the Form and other documents for family safety planning to protect immigrant children and families.
Cam Crockett has been a family law attorney and mediator in Maryland for over 40 years. She worked on drafting, amending and supporting the new Standby Guardianship law’s passage in the Maryland Legislature. She runs the free Monday clinics at the Takoma East Silver Spring (TESS) Center in Silver Spring Maryland, assisting parents in developing family safety plans and completing the standby guardianship form. Cam also gives trainings and presentations about the new standby guardianship law to service providers, groups, schools, churches and organizations in Maryland who work with immigrant communities.
Susan Silber has been an attorney in Maryland since 1981. She served as City Attorney for Takoma Park, Maryland for 35 years as well as many years for Mount Ranier. She also practiced family law in a private firm and currently chairs “The Divorce Roundtable”. She worked on drafting, amending and supporting the new Standby Guardianship law’s passage in the Maryland Legislature and assisted the Administrative Office of the Courts of Maryland in developing the standby guardianship form. Susan also provides trainings and presentations to groups in Maryland.
Heather Benno Esq.
Heather was a managing immigration attorney at The Esperanza Center in Baltimore and is now with Immigrant Justice Solutions. She works as a consultant with low bono referrals for complex immigration matters in partnership with legal services organizations and community groups. She also provides assistance to community groups to expand low bono and pro bono immigration legal services. Heather helped with testimony before the Senate Judiciary Proceedings committee at a critical time before the passage of the standby guardianship law. She recently testified before the D.C. City Council in favor of a standby guardianship bill under consideration.
Cecilia has been working for the last 6 years at the YMCA/Linkages to Learning program as a Community School Coordinator at Rolling Terrace Elementary School. The school has close to 900 students and more than half of them are children from immigrant parents. She testified before the House Judiciary Proceedings Committee regarding the Standby Guardianship legislation and has been actively working to educate professionals and parents about the new law.
Lisa is President of Direct Support for Immigrants, a non-profit that helps immigrants access resources in and around Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. She helped advocate for the passage of the Standby Guardianship law in Maryland after being president of Rolling Terrace Elementary School PTA, where she met many Latinx families that could benefit from a clear process for designating a guardian in the event of an adverse immigration event.
Dan had an international career representing the US as a foreign service officer, concluding in Mexico. He currently has established a non-profit that works on sea turtle conservation projects in Latin America. Dan works as a volunteer in the TESS Center Standby Guardianship Project assisting parents in family safety planning and filling out the standby guardianship form.
Ana K. Carrion
Ana has over twenty years’ experience working in the nonprofit sector, particularly social service and immigrant rights organizations, with a focus on fundraising, nonprofit management and administration. A native Spanish speaker, she is originally from Nicaragua. She has translated most of the Standby Guardianship’s materials for Latinx populations.
Dianela Urdaneta de Ratha
Dianela is a bilingual producer, writer and narrator for more than 25 years. She has produced videos both in English and Spanish for Reuters, Voice of America TV, CNN Spanish, CBS Telenoticias, Inter-American Development Bank, among others. She is the owner of a multimedia production company, “Arthavision”. Dianela has supported the Standby Guardianship Project by developing a social media plan and by giving presentations and trainings to groups in Spanish.
Rochelle retired in 2017 from a 35-year career as an attorney in the Federal government, where she last served as the Department of the Treasury’s Assistant General Counsel for General Law, Ethics and Regulation, and Designated Agency Ethics Official. Rochelle’s current volunteer activities include work as an ESOL tutor and in the TESS Center Standby Guardianship Project assisting parents in family safety planning and filling out the standby guardianship form.
Taina Alexander hails from Finland, is multilingual, and has a long career as an international development professional working with grass-root and international non-profits as well as with US and European government agencies in several low and middle-income countries in four continents.
As a volunteer in Maryland, she has worked with the Literacy Council of Montgomery County, MCAEL, and is currently an Advisor at 50+Volunteer Network with Montgomery County Volunteer Center. She recently joined the Standby Guardianship’s TESS Center Project as a Consultant providing guidance to parents creating standby guardianships and giving presentations to groups about the new law.